Crest Hill holds annual Memorial Day celebration
May 28, 2013
The threat of rain Monday didn’t stop Crest Hill from celebrating and honoring all veterans and policemen killed in the line of duty.
The 25th annual Memorial Day celebration was scheduled to be held at the City Hall in the Memorial Gardens but was moved down the street to St. Ambrose Church.
Local veterans and members of the community, along with members of the Lockport Township Fire Department and the Crest Hill Police Department, filled the church hall for a ceremonial celebration, accompanied by the Frankfort Brass Band.
The master of ceremonies was Crest Hill Mayor Raymond Soliman. The guest speaker was U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd).
“Memorial Day is sometimes a day that gets lost in barbecues and celebrations, and it’s fantastic that Crest Hill year after year commemorates this day and remembers all who have died for our freedom in the armed forces and the police offers who have died protecting us here at home,” Lipinski said. “I’m honored to be a part of the 25th anniversary of the memorial garden.”
Dan Ciszek, 68, of Crest Hill was in the U.S. Marines from 1962 to ’66, serving in Vietnam in 1965. Ciszek comes to the Crest Hill Memorial Day celebration every year “to remember our fallen heroes in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and now Afghanistan and Iraq,” he said. “I have friends I know that are still over in Vietnam and I just want to honor them.”
Perhaps the most moving moments occurred when the Frankfort Brass Band played the “Armed Services Medley.” Veterans in the audience stood up when their armed force branch song was being played.
One of those standing was 88-year-old Betty Peterson, a World War II Navy veteran from Crest Hill. Peterson also was on an Honor Flight that went to Washington D.C.
“I am remembering those who didn’t come back,” she said. “I’m happy to be alive. I’m happy to be here. I wish everyone would come home.”
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